#20 Middle Tennessee tightens up for the win

It wasn't as easy as the final score reflects, but the Blue Raiders knocked of the Sun Belt leaders in the western division. Poor shooting plagued MTSU in the first half, but their tough defense carried Insell's squad to their 13th straight win.

Thursday night's game between the #20 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders and the Arkansas State Indians certainly lived up to it's billing in the first half. The crowd of 4,884 that have come accustomed to blowout wins finally saw the margin widen at the beginning of the second half as the Blue Raiders pulled away to win the game 82-54. Defensively, the Blue Raiders stifled the Indians with 37 turnovers, but on a night that saw MTSU shoot 30% from the field in the first half, the Blue Raiders turned it around to shoot 60% in the second half. The Blue Raiders halftime lead was 39-32.

The Blue Raiders of MTSU were led by the www.blueraiderzone.com player of the game, Chrissy Givens, who led the team with 27 points. As Chrissy went, so did the team. She was cold at the beginning of the game and with a slight attitude adjustment at the half, scored 11 of the Blue Raiders first 16 points in the second half to move the team to a thirteen point lead that would only get bigger from there. Amber Holt also provided much needed help in scoring 19 points to go along with 7 rebounds, which led the team. On a night where Jackie Pickel saw very limited playing time and was cold from the 3-point line, "Downtown" Brandi Brown picked up the slack hitting 4-8 from behind the arc, most of those coming at very opportune times.

The Blue Raiders have been a team that lives and dies by the three point shot. However, last night shows that on a night where their three point shooters were off, their inside playmakers can still seal the deal. The Blue Raiders are on the road Saturday as they take on the Trojans of Arkansas Little Rock.

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